My dad got Mincemeat, a Lhasa Apso, from the DoliHei breeders (March 1969); Mincemeat was three years old.
Mincemeat loved running through the trees in the neighbourhood where we lived. I enjoyed Mincemeat’s company for those few months I briefly had him but had little time to become attached to him.
My dad made certain that I knew that his threats against my feminine protesting were always over my head – he extended his threats against me to Mincemeat’s welfare. Sure enough, one horrible Sunday, my dad’s threat to punish my protesting from earlier that day came true.
We lived at Grambling, Louisiana (Summer 1969); the weather was hot that June morning. My dad locked Mincemeat inside the car. I begged and pleaded with my dad – ‘Please let Mincemeat out!’.
It was too late when he finally let Mincemeat out; he did not have a chance. Mincemeat cut himself and bled during his panic; he was dead by evening time. The veterinarian said that Mincemeat died of heat stroke; the smell of Mincemeat’s death is fixed in my memory. My dad killed Mincemeat.
I miss Mincemeat so much.
Slim was born 23 Sep 1969. I brought him home from DoliHei in time for Thanksgiving Day 1969.
I lined my bedroom with newspaper in case he had any ‘accidents’ and we could not get outside in time.
Slim was my baby. He was content when he slept with me though he had his own bed.
Slim and I bonded – we did many things together for the nearly eight years I had him.
Lhasa Apso dogs bark same as any other dog. They also make this gurgling vocalisation; we called it ‘talking’. I was recording one of our ‘talking’ session one day (Summer 1970). When I replay that tape, I hear a song playing in the background on the radio. That song, ‘Soul Coaxing’ became his theme song when I worked as a DJ at a ‘Beautiful Music’ radio station (1979 – 1980). I snuck that song into my playlist as often as I could. It was my way to keep Slim alive and attempt to fill that hole of sadness in my heart.
- (‘Ame Caline’:
- (‘Soul Coaxing’:
I eventually learned years later that parents who abuse their children raise children who abuse their children; in this case, my parents and Kathy taught me to be abusive to Slim. Abuse is pervasive; I was unaware of the times when I could be cruel to him because my family’s abuse upon me clouded my judgement. Only later did I learn that I had to become aware and had to change my way on my own because my family was certainly not part of that change.
Slim and I had a wonderfull last day; I was improving my behaviour with him and I was learning to not be abusive to him as my family had been abusive to me.
I gave Slim a bath before we departed – he loved water and swimming, he loved bath-time, he loved playing with the towel.
I packed our belongings to drive to New Mexico (Labor Day weekend, 1977) to live with my dad where he was a school principal. Slim and I made our way to spend the night with Kathy. My sister assigned me to the living room sofa; Slim and I settled in and went to sleep. I was unaware what was happening during the night. I awoke the next morning. Slim was not there with me on the sofa; he was nowhere inside the house or outside yards. He would never have left me willingly. I spent two weeks looking for Slim throughout my sister’s neighbourhood; I went door-to-door. Kathy then coldly told me that Slim is gone and that I was no longer welcomed to stay with her.
I went to stay a week with an aunt and uncle. My uncle helpt me put an ad in the newspaper for a lost dog; no answer for the week. We went to the dog pound; Slim was never there. I departed for New Mexico distraught that Slim was gone. I was unaware at that time what Kathy did; evidence surfaced years later that Kathy killed Slim and disposed of his body. It is though she murdered my only child.
Slim’s absence remains a deep sadness in my heart.